Holy Week at St. John’s
As Christians, the story of Holy Week is of primary importance in understanding our relationship with God and one another because it prepares us for Easter and the Feast of the Resurrection. The only other celebration to receive such emphasis in our tradition is Christmas.
The balance of both narratives is vital to our Christian faith: Christmas, or the Feast of the Incarnation, re-minds us of our deeply holy nature, knit together to be God’s own creation in the world. While the Resurrection re-members us as a body, calling us into deeper relationship with one another, to share the Love that is Christ with the entire world, as the Body of Christ.
The Paschal (Easter) Triduum is one continuous liturgy held over the course of 3 days whose purpose is to help us experience this deeply moving story of our faith in ways that inspire our hearts to continue to open to its truth – that violence is never the last word. Love is. God’s Love is always and forever the Christ who tramples death and raises us from our worldly graves and tombs of fear and hatred.
Especially this year, after this time of great stress in our society and the devastation and grief caused by a global pandemic, our participation in this 3-day liturgy will be particularly meaningful. As a community, we engage in a movement that begins with the theme of love and service, leads us through desolation and fear, until we finally arrive in the hope of God’s salvation. This movement is so important for us to recall because it’s so easy to get lost in fear and anxiety. This 3-part liturgy is designed to deepen our faith and strengthen us for our path.
Maundy Thursday: April 1 at 6:00 pm. We honor the last supper by focusing on the themes of service and love, ending with the Stripping of the Altar.
The Watch in the Garden of Gethsemane is long-standing tradition at St. John’s where people are invited to keep vigil in the Garden along with Jesus in his last hours. You can log on at any time after the end of the Maundy Thursday service up until 12:00 midnight to sit in contemplation. Meditations are available where you find the Zoom links.
Good Friday: April 2 at 1:00 pm. We reflect on the devastation wrought in this world through human sin.
The Great Vigil of Easter: April 3 at 8:00 pm. We listen to the great stories of God’s salvation from scripture and awaken to the love that is Christ present in the world.
Easter Sunday Festival Worship: April 4 at 10:00 am. This year’s presider and preacher is the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool.
All services will be held over Zoom and broadcast onto Facebook.
Go to: stjohnskingston.org/online-streaming-worship for the Zoom links.
Rooms will open 20 minutes prior to worship.
A note regarding bulletins:
Those who signed-up for Holy Week Bags will have received a booklet for the Pascal Triduum, but will need to download the Sunday bulletins for both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
For those who did NOT sign up for Holy Week Bags, separate bulletins will be available for download for each Triduum service on the website.
Returning and Gratitude
Dear Ones: I’m so humbled and grateful for your prayers, love, and support over the past few weeks while Ana and I “encountered” this death-dealing virus called covid. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Beautiful cards coming in the mail. Food dropped off at our door. Flowers and “get well” balloons arriving. And all the prayers flooding us – both Ana and I could feel we were being prayed for. Thank you, my beloved friends, from both of us.
Ana has been home now a couple of days. She was in the hospital a total of 10 days so her rehabilitation will be long as she gets used to using her muscles and joints again and rebuilds her endurance. But we’re getting everything straightened out and, although it’s hard for her to see it sometimes, she really is getting better every day.
I am getting better too, although my doctor yelled at me for doing laundry last week because she thought it was too strenuous. Turns out she was right. I get tired very easily… and that’s NOT an easy thing for me to admit to. So, I’ve reduced my hours and my workload as I tend to both Ana and myself in our recovery.
Thankfully, the Rev. Canon Jeanne Person, from the diocesan staff has agreed to be with us for Holy Week. She will be preaching and presiding this Sunday for our Palm Sunday celebration. As many of you know, I was on a diocesan staff before coming to St. John’s and it was always very meaningful when I could walk through Holy Week with one congregation. So, I’m pleased to welcome Canon Jeanne to St. John’s to help us celebrate. I know it means as much to her as it does to us that she is with us.
I will be joining you all again in worship beginning on Maundy Thursday and will share preaching and presiding responsibilities with Canon Jeanne for the Pascal Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil). And then we will have Bp. Mary Glasspool with us (via Zoom) for Easter Sunday. What a gift! And such loving support from our diocese as I recover from this horrible virus.
Finally, I cannot thank our leadership enough for making sure things kept moving – Lynn Dennison and Claudette Ford, our Wardens… for everything. Cathe Decker and Cathy Whittaker, who have been leading our weekday services. The Rev. Alison Quin for preaching and presiding last week. Terry Earles for being flexible and pastoral in his service to you all. Laura Ricci, Cathe Decker and our Vestry members for leading in various ways. And, as always, Deacon Sue who jumped in the deep end to keep everyone connected and has pulled together a group of people to produce some truly beautiful Holy Week Bags!
We will be getting back to “normal” (whatever that means in a pandemic) during the Easter Season as I slowly resume my duties.
Again, thank you all so much for your prayers, your support, and your love. Hope remains and Love is always the last word.
In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle
Announcements for March 28, 2021
The Clothing Shed is open again! Yes, the clothing shed in our parking lot is open again. Please let everyone know that they can drop off clothing and housewares (textiles only!). Everything needs to be in a sealed bag and every bit helps to raise money for St. John’s.
The Page Turners Book Club: For April 6th we are reading “Apeirogon,” by Colum McCann. We meet at 7 pm, by Zoom, for about an hour. Contact Lynn Dennison for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Holy Week Schedule of Services
- Palm Sunday: March 28 at 10:00 am. The Rev. Canon Jeanne Person preaching and presiding.
- The Pascal Triduum – The Rev. Michelle Meech and the Rev. Canon Jeanne Person will share preaching and presiding duties for this 3-day liturgy.
- Maundy Thursday: April 1 at 6:00 pm
“Vigil in Gethsemane” held online until 12:00 midnight
- Good Friday: April 2 at 1:00 pm
- The Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 pm
- Maundy Thursday: April 1 at 6:00 pm
- Easter Sunday: April 4 at 10:00 am. The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool preaching and presiding. Rev. Michelle will be in attendance.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.